So many life principles from the Bible apply to mental health. In Romans 12:2, Paul gives us just such a great life principle; becoming transformed by renewing the mind. In context, Paul had just addressed some ineffective patterns of worldly living. Then he states to not conform any longer to the old patterns, but instead to become transformed by renewing our minds. From a mental health perspective, I want to put some practical action on how to accomplish this. If I have an old, ineffective pattern of thinking due to my experience of life, but the truth of God’s design for life is different, then I need to recognize the discrepancy, correct my thinking with the truth of God’s design, and renew my mind to that truth.
If my experience of the world, relationships, and the advertising industry have told me that I am not good enough due to some attribute of body image, then I will likely have an internal dialog in my mind that focuses on not being good enough, which will result in me feeling inadequate. However, if I will evaluate, reason, and determine the truth that directly addresses the old, ineffective pattern of thinking, and then renew my mind to that truth, my mind can then become transformed to a new internal dialog or pattern of thought. In this example of negative body image thinking, instead of feeling inadequate, I can feel adequate and empowered based on thinking the truth that I am, in fact, good enough.
Applying this to mental health, renewing the mind isn’t just casually thinking the truth occasionally. It is thoughtfully developing a list of truth statements that directly oppose false/ineffective thinking. Then taking my list in quiet, meditative moments, then reviewing and contemplating these truths about myself repeatedly. I recommend renewing our minds first thing in the morning, about noon, end of the work day, and before bed for several weeks.
We must hear/review the truth more often than the frequency of the world telling us the lies!